Making A Home Photography Studio On A Budget

Here, we round up some home photography studio essentials that are accessible on a budget

|  Studio Lighting and Flash
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If you're considering setting up a home studio, either in your garage or something less permanent to see you through lockdown in a room of the house, one of the major things you'll consider is budget. Right now, we know that money will be tight for a lot of people and that there needs to be a balance between savings and recreational activities. This is why we thought you'd benefit from a roundup of home studio supplies on a budget.

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Tripod

studio tripod

If you're thinking of having a go at studio photography at home there is a lot to set up and it can be difficult to set up and frame the shot hand-held whilst trying to tweak backgrounds and props to make everything perfect. A tripod will enable you to set up the shot and leave the camera there while you tweak the set to your exact liking. Tripods are also handy for mounting flashes or lights on if you don't have stands.

If you want to keep things simple, Amazon offer a Basics tripod for under £15, which has a max height of 127cm, and can hold up to 500g of kit. There are different models in the Basics range, if you require a larger maximum weight or additional features. Here's a breakdown of some of the tripods on offer which are budget friendly: 

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Sheet backgrounds

white photo background

No matter what your studio subject, it's important to have a plain, clutter free background to ensure that the viewer isn't distracted by things. You could use a bare painted wall, however, textures will still be visible and they're often not as uniform as you think. To combat this a background is necessary. Plain black or white ones can be picked up cheaply and they will transform your studio images. If you're really stuck you could use an ironed sheet, but if you want to invest a little for better images here's our pick of the best plain backgrounds:

 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA

 

Background frame

background frame

If you're using the sheet backgrounds then a frame will be necessary to allow you to move it around and change the colours of the background. Frames are lightweight, portable and easy to construct and deconstruct. Don't forget your background clamps, too. Here are some of the budget offerings available: 

 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA

 

Pop up backgrounds

photography backgrounds

If your studio is to be less permanent or you just don't want the hassle of securing and changing backgrounds, then pop-up backgrounds might be the answer. They're really easy to use and are available in a variety of colours and scenes, great for varying up your portraits. They are more expensive but they make it a lot easier to set up and tidy away. Plus, they're easier to store. Textured backgrounds or those that feature patterns tend to be more expensive - consider using software background effects to spruce up shots if they're out of your budget.

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA

 

Off camera lighting

Off camera lighting

You'll need off-camera lighting to create a balanced image. Exactly how many lights you'll need will depend on your shoot but two is a good starting point, to eliminate any shadows to either side. They're usually height adjustable and come with diffusers for a softer, less harsh light. Here are some top picks of budget options:

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA

 

Diffusers & Light Reflectors

diffuser

Especially if you're doing portrait work, diffusers and reflectors will be an integral part of your kit. They soften the light hitting your subject, making it more flattering and less harsh. Some light kits will come with them but you can get different kinds, like honeycomb effect ones or gold ones, to break the light up further or make the light warmer. Save yourself some money and buy both reflectors and diffusers in one set. Here are some budget-friendly ones: 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA

 

Ring flash

ring flash

A ring flash can provide great highlights in the eyes of your subjects as well as being a good source of fill-flash to eliminate unsightly shadows on your subject that can be caused by side lighting. Ring flash is mounted on the front of your DSLR or mirrorless camera. Here are our wallet-friendly picks:

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA

 

Posing stool

posing stool

When working with models it might be necessary to sit them down and the best way to do this with the versatility of altering the shot easily is with a swivelling stool. The stool should be small enough to be hidden from the shot when sat on and height-adjustable for comfort. If you're on a tighter budget, though, it's not essential. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 

 

 

Tethering cable

tethering cable

If you're working in real time and want to show your clients or models the results of your photos quickly and easily, then tethering your camera to a laptop will be the answer. Any camera with a mini USB port should be able to be tethered to your computer and enable you to see the images on a larger screen as you shoot them. You should check your camera's port to make sure you get the right cable and also check the manual to make sure tethering is supported.

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Looking for more indoor photography ideas?

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